To my wonderful readers

I finished by speech and I hope it flows well. I was stressed that I couldn’t put together a 5-7 minute speech, but I ultimately had to cut out tons so that I would be under 7 minutes! Who knew?

Things are moving on the packing front……boxes are in transit to the garage and surfaces are becoming bare. Deana is also becoming more “focused” with each day (which translates to my list of things to do becoming a bit longer – LOL!)

The kids are very excited, too. It will be weird here without them. I mean seriously, they scream my name and run to me when I get home…’s really great for the ego!

Okay, that’s about it. Sorry that there was no real info in this post!

A shorter post….

My Editor-in-Chief (aka Deana “My Mother” Marie) said that my last post was way too long and than I would lose many of my readers. Since I am only up to 2.79 readers, I thought I’d better write a shorter post.

So today I am working on “THE” big speech that is due Tuesday. I am doing an Informational Speech on RUSSIAN ADOPTION. Cool subject, don’t you think? I was just reviewing my old post about the stats regarding Russian orphans – now that Zack and Sophia are here, it is ever more surreal than before! Now there are two distinct faces that make the whole situation much more real.

So, I think that’s all I am going to write! Want to encourage the readers, ya know?!

Let’s see, what should I write about????

I have to post today, for several reasons. The most compelling reason is that Liz threatened me and, well, if you’ve ever met Liz, you know that’s something you don’t ignore! You see, she’s one of those sweet looking young women who seem to be “miss compliance”, yet she has this hidden superhero strength that, if you don’t watch out, she will use to BEAT YOU UP!!! Those of you who REALLY know her knows what I’m talking about!!!!!

Liz is on the left, with Cat and Pete.

Disclaimer: This all stems from the fact that Liz has entered the “I am going to be the first person to comment on Deana’s blog” competition, so please don’t think I am slandering her name. She is a nice person, but in the world of blog comment competitions, you need to chip away at each other.

On that note, Liz has not won any comment contests lately. Let’s see, I believe I have, at least one but maybe two times. Heather, the other leading competitor, has also scored at least one recently. Liz, what’s the deal???? I thought you said you had skills??!?!!?!!? If you want to play with the big girls, you better step it up! And don’t be bringing those lame excuses about having to register as a user or whatever – 30 seconds my friend! 30 seconds!!!

Okay, now I will update you on my SPEECHES ~ yes, I have given two speeches this week in class. The first, on Monday, was my memorized speech.

This memorized speech was on the Iron Maiden rendition of the classic poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. You might know of this tale, where the AM kills the albatross and things kind of go down because of it! Well, I was a bit nervous because there was a lot to remember and my mind kept hearing the bass line of the song and well, it’s a long poem!!!! I had to cut out many verses because the speech could only be 3 minutes max. But anyway, I did very well! I thought I bombed it, especially since I thought I did a “scissor”, which is a movement that looks similar to a lame dance move, and then lost my train of thought and needed to ask my teacher what the next line was. But when he graded me, he said I did an excellent job, that I was very natural and didn’t look nervous as all (NOT!), and that the format I used (moving around) and adding a bit of drama was perfect for me – or, in his words, “you were in your zone!”

So last night my presentation was the Resource Speech. Basically, we spent two days (me, one day since I worked late Wed night) in the library on one resource book that we had to basically “sell” to the classroom. My resource book was the International Dictionary of Women’s Biographies. I added a bit of wit to the speech with some interesting tidbits – like the name of the woman who invented the speculum (Maria Boivin). The only thing I did wrong was the ending – I have this HORRIBLE habit of beginning to walk off the “stage” as I am ending my speeches. However, last night I stopped at the end, said “thank you”, and then walked off. Well, I guess that’s a no no. But otherwise, I am scoring A’s on my speeches.

My next speech is due Tuesday and is a biggie – making up 40% of my grade! It’s an “Informational Speech” and will include visual aids. So far the speeches have been 2-3 minutes long; this one needs to be 5-7. I am doing it on…………….Russian Adoption! Dun dun dun! This speech needs to have a formal research paper written with works cited, etc. Not problem……I think I have a blog or two on the subject I can pull from! 🙂

To change it up a bit more, I was wondering – do you know any narcissists? I know there are several “levels” of narcissism – maybe I even have a few of these traits. (Well, fortunately, Deana once told me that if I worried about having the traits, that probably meant I didn’t have any, but then I reminded her that everything was about me and then, well, she hit me.) ANYWAY, here is an excerpt from

“Signs and symptoms

Narcissism itself is a personality trait, a much higher regard for and love of oneself than for others. The word “narcissism” comes from a character in Greek mythology. Narcissus, a handsome youth, doesn’t think any of his female suitors are worthy of his beauty. When the gods condemn him to look at his reflection in a pool, he stares at himself lovingly for so long that eventually he simply withers away and dies.

Most specialists think of narcissism as lying along a continuum, from people with good psychological health to those with narcissistic personality disorder.

People who have a narcissistic personality style rather than narcissistic personality disorder are generally psychologically healthy, but may at times be arrogant, proud, shrewd, confident, self-centered and determined to be at the top. They do not, however, have an unrealistic image of their skills and worth and are not dependent on praise to sustain a healthy self-esteem.

You may find these individuals unpleasant or overbearing in certain social, professional or interpersonal encounters, but they aren’t necessarily unhealthy.”

Here is my own personal test for myself to make sure I don’t exhibit narcissistic traits:

1. when someone is telling a story about something that happened to them, do NOT respond with, “well, once I was…….”

2. when telling stories, do NOT include minute details to the point of killing those who are listing to you. They might not enjoy the sound of your voice nearly as much as you do.

3. If someone else wins something – a game, a compliment, a car wash – do NOT resent that person because you feel YOU should have gotten the prize. (Um, however, if ANYONE wins a car wash around me better give it up because seriously, I truly deserve it more than any of y’all!)

4. The rules need to be the same for everyone – if you dish out the teasing, expect to be teased back. It’s not cool to say you are exempt because you are sensitive then turn around and use the excuse “I was just kidding!”.

Okay, I really don’t know why I wrote that…..maybe because there was an interesting discussion in class last night. But anyway, PLEASE feel free to let me know how many times I fail on the above items. Oh wait, by asking to let me know, did that sound narcissistic? I don’t want you to think that everything is about me! But this IS my blog! Oh wait…….that was bad…..maybe I should……

Thanks for reading peeps!

A serious conversation……

So I was having a serious conversation with my son about me remarrying, etc. He was like, “You said you would wait to date until we’re older, right?” And I replied, “Well, yeah, that’s the plan. But I gotta tell you, if Justin (Timberlake) asks me out, I might have to go with him.” And he was like, “Well, what if I don’t like him?” I was like, “Um, well, for Justin I think you will need to learn to like him.” And he replied with an incredulous face, “Mom, are you serious?!?!!? What if he’s mean? Or what if I just don’t like him?!?!!?!” And then I said, “Hello, JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE! He’s bringing sexy back!” Nope, he was not convinced!

So then I pulled Mike in, thinking he’d back me up…..”Hey Mike, don’t you think I should be able to date Justin Timberlake even if Kenny doesn’t like him?” And Mike said, “No way…..the son always has to approve.”

So then, thinking Jerry might have a little more influence, I updated him on what transpired. All of a sudden, Jerry’s face changed, and he said, “Well, you will have to work that out with Kenny.” Dang, what was THAT about?!?!!?! Then, I turned around and there was KENNY! Dun dun dun.

Sigh. And then I thought… am I gonna hide my love affair with Justin from my son with all the paparazzi?????

Gina’s Just Rambling…..

Still gonna make you wait about the results of my speech! Instead, some random thoughts for today:

~ Men should NEVER flip a woman off when driving. Especially when said woman is 5 feet behind a car and, therefore, can’t go any faster anyway.

~ You should NEVER ask someone who is moving out of state, changing jobs, or making other life changes, “are you sure?” ESPECIALLY when you have a superficial friendship anyway.

~ If two people choose to invest in a home together, don’t add crap to that. Southern California homes are freaking expensive people!!!! Speculating or dramatizing it is crap. Most people are not involved with HBO Series so don’t wait your time trying to make something benign into something scandalous.

~ On that note, you should NEVER ask someone who is moving out of state if their best friend is quitting their job, moving out of state, etc. ESPECIALLY when you have a superficial friendship anyway. Or better yet, it’s better not to ask ANY nosey, personal questions of ANYONE that you don’t speak to on a daily basis anyway.

~ Maybe the best way of summarizing my innermost feelings today – anyone over 30 years old – ESPECIALLY people in their late 30’s – have probably established some pretty good critical thinking skills so maybe it would be good for others to think, “Wow, they probably don’t need me to make sure they know what they’re doing.” Give us a little credit okay?

Okay, the rambling rantings of a mad white woman are now over……

Speeches, Speeches, Speeches

I did my memorized speech yesterday and all went okay – more on that later. But I wanted to share something – one of my classmates did the following speech, taken from the opening monologue from the movie “The Holiday”. I LOVE THIS! So true in so many ways! Okay, if possible, read this with an English accent….

“I’ve found almost everything ever written about love to be true. Shakespeare said “Journeys end in lovers meeting.” What an extraordinary thought. Personally, I have not experienced anything remotely close to that, but I am more than willing to believe Shakespeare had. I suppose I think about love more than anyone really should. I am constantly amazed by its sheer power to alter and define our lives. It was Shakespeare who also said “love is blind”. Now that is something I know to be true. For some quite inexplicably, love fades; for others love is simply lost. But then of course love can also be found, even if just for the night. And then, there’s another kind of love: the cruelest kind. The one that almost kills its victims. Its called unrequited love. Of that I am an expert. Most love stories are about people who fall in love with each other. But what about the rest of us? What about our stories, those of us who fall in love alone? We are the victims of the one sided affair. We are the cursed of the loved ones. We are the unloved ones, the walking wounded. The handicapped without the advantage of a great parking space! Yes, you are looking at one such individual. And I have willingly loved that man for over three miserable years! The absolute worst years of my life! The worst Christmas’, the worst Birthday’s, New Years Eve’s brought in by tears and Valium. These years that I have been in love have been the darkest days of my life. All because I’ve been cursed by being in love with a man who does not and will not love me back. Oh god, just the sight of him! Heart pounding! Throat thickening! Absolutely can’t swallow! All the usual symptoms.”

Dang, I love that movie!

Romans is a pain but life is good

So sorry that I haven’t blogged as of late! Busy with Romans, my Speech class, and living life.

So, the exciting part first. On a fluke, Deana decides to try to purchase Wicked tickets online for a deal. If you know Deana, when she sets her mind to something, she usually reaches her goal! So, Friday morning she calls me and says, “If I can get tickets to Wicked for tomorrow, would you go?” Thinking that was impossible, I said, “Sure!” (I have tons of homework.) But she got them and got an awesome deal! So yesterday Deana, Stepha, Michael and I went to see it! And you know what? IT WAS AWESOME! I really haven’t heard details about the show other than it was great. It was funny, emotional, had adventure, and the singers were quite good! There weren’t many songs that affected me like other shows I’ve seen (Evita, Phantom, Mama Mia), but they were still very good. The story was very, very good too – offering many subplots and ideas that Deana and I were reflecting on this morning. It touched on social issues, ideas of honesty and perception, the role of leaders……wow, it was good. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone!

Today, we also went to a yummy brunch to celebrate Wanda’s older sister’s 50th Birthday. Ana (we got her an “N” for her birthday) had a great time and it was fun to watch all the family and friends interact with each other. Wanda is still my favorite, though!

Then, Deana, Stepha and I went to visit Mom, who is still in the hospital after her back surgery. She is doing much better but still in pain and will probably be in the hospital for another day or two.

THEN, us girls went to get pedicures – YEAH BABY! I splurged and got a 10 minute leg message! WOOHOO!

THEN, we got the kids, took our SUVs to the car wash, and went bowling! Deana kicked my butt the first game but I redeemed myself the second. Most important, it was AWESOME to spend time having fun with the kids because I am in school Monday-Thursday nights. I have a back log of homework but sometimes you just need to have fun!

So, here I sit writing this blog instead of doing homework! Oh, and the thing about Romans – I sent in my first essay and the prof didn’t like my opinions. Well, I got an 84% on it so that’s cool, but I am like “what? if you don’t like my opinion, I get marked down????” He even told me one reference that I quoted word for word FROM THE VERY TEXT BOOK I WAS SUPPOSED READ FOR THE CLASS was not what Paul meant!!! So I am really confused about what he is looking for! But hey, all I need to do is pass this class because it won’t affect my GPA.

So, hope that catches everyone up!

Interesting thoughts from the past

I wrote this after my separation, at the time before my divorce was final. It reflects on how my life was up until that point and what might be found in the future. It reminds me of where I was at the time, but more importantly, it gives me hope today. Times can and are tough, but there is always something positive to be found. Here you go:

It’s amazing really – how life can be. You are living your life and things are pretty good; you don’t even know that things can be better. Still, there’s a place deep down inside, a place you don’t even realize, that is secretly screaming out for something….different. As if a piece of you is missing that, without it, will eventually kill you. When the day comes when you find this missing piece, you are amazed that you survived so long without it.

That’s where I’ve now found myself. I seem to have had, to the entire world, the perfect life. In fact, I have often been railed against with jealousy because everything seemed to be going for me. Yet it was something hard to feel excitement for my life, and that confused me. Why couldn’t I see what everyone else saw? So the game began where I’d have to live the life others thought I should live. A life where I was happy all the time, where they relied on me to make them laugh, to be strong, to always be positive, to always be in control. And I admit, most of these qualities DO come easily to me, but there has always been an added burden to maintain this person everyone expected to see.

I have to acknowledge that I protected this image. As much as I ignored that little screaming piece of me, I’m surprised that change ever came in my life. I would guard myself in ways that I didn’t notice – by never really letting people know me, by never showing or allowing myself to feel sad, by wondering with surprise where my anger would flare from, and question why it was so intense. My image became the very thing that WAS me, and without really articulating it, I knew that without my image, I was nothing. Still that secret piece of me cried out for attention, only to be ignored.

Imagine my surprise when my world began to change! Looking back, it becomes easy to see how things evolved, but when it was happening there was just a big blur before my eyes. The subtle way change sneaks up on you, shakes you up, and throws you back down – grinning at the whirlwind effect it has had on your life – is amazing. What my old self would call a mess, with the scattered pieces lying everywhere, my new self embraced like a drowning person would embrace a floating device. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry with happiness, but I do know that I now feel complete for the first time in my life.

Change, for me, began when I allowed myself to have a friendship that was real. That sounds strange, I know. How can I have so many friends, but not a real one? But in truth, how can you have a friendship when all you give back is your image? So, the piece of me deep inside began to dislodge and take shape when this friendship started to form. I began to FEEL….which is different from acting like I should act. I began to TRUST….which is different from protecting my image. I began to CRY….which was a big, big mistake in my past life. I began to LOVE….myself and my friend, something that was really impossible before. And through it all, I began to live.

I am still trying to figure out how this all works, but I have new meaning now. I can feel my whole being slowly changing, and it may mean that I am more real to others. But for now, I am content with where I am. I have so much to be thankful for, REALLY! I want to digest all that has occurred and feel the contentment seep through my body. And I can’t help but think – it’s amazing really – how life can be.

Paul’s Letter to the Romans

I LOVE this epistle very much – one of my favorites. But right now I am like “huh”? My assignment is to read a book called THE ROMANS DEBATE and decide why Paul wrote the letter to the Romans. At first it seemed pretty easy, but inside are a bunch of essays regarding the subject and it seems there are lots of different views in answering this question! Some are way over my head (quoting Greek with no translation in the argument) and some seem pretty far fetched (Paul was secretly writing to the Christian church in Jerusalem). I am about half way through the book and I THINK I have my own opinion, but who knows what the next argument will be????

But this has been a pretty cool exercise. I have never really been involved with an analysis of why a part of the Bible was written so this is a new take that has made me use my brain a little!

Any Roman experts out there?!?!!?!!?!